I know most of you remember the classic Lunar Lander game that came out over 30+ years ago well Shovsoft has created Lunar Flight which brings Lunar Lander into the realm of 3D and great physics. So if you remember Lunar Lander at all you should know that the basic concept of this game is to land safely at your destination and not damage or destroy the lunar module. Shovsoft has done an amazing job with the look & feel of Lunar Flight, put on a pair of noise canceling headphones on and play on full screen mode and you will start to get sucked in to Lunar Flight’s complex physics and lunar landscape.
What can you do in Lunar Flight?
Well you start on the surface of the moon and you can pick between a few mission types like transportation of cargo to other landing sites, moon surveying missions, finding lost cargo, timed trial challenges and achievements for accomplishing certain feats of expert piloting. Hey I earned a achievement really fast, I destroyed my first module in a matter of minutes. As you complete missions and challenge trials in the game you will acquire experience that will help you unlock items for purchase to help improve your survivability. There is three different types of maps that you unlock as you raise in rank and each map has a difficulty rating (Easy, Medium, Hard) assessed to it.
I played the game mostly with the keyboard since I don’t own a xbox controller and my joystick doesn’t have the ability to rotate on the x-axis. I’m sure the controls are a lot more refined with a controller, but the keys did a decent job in controlling the module in flight. There is a bit of a learning curve when you first start to fly the module, but what helps is that Shovsoft has created a bunch of video tutorials to help with quickly learning the game mechanics and controls. After watching a few videos I was lifting off and actually doing well on some missions, on those long missions you might have to refuel to get back, had a few missions where I ran out of fuel.
I have a list of the Pros/Cons of Lunar Flight from my experiences during a few days of playing and watching the tutorials.
- The lunar module and the moon surfaces are just plain great looking, it is what I expected if I was there for it to look like.
- The background astronaut chatter and music soundtrack really sets the mood of the game.
- The interior switches and gauges work inside the lunar module.
- No lengthy flight manual, just some nice tutorials to watch to get you going.
- Achievements and leaderboards
- Once you get behind with money and your in the negative you can reset your character to start over but you reset all progress/rank/achievements. Which isn’t a bad thing if your a veteran at playing Lunar Flight, but when you crash and burn a few times or run out of fuel you will get deeper in depth and soon it is hard to get out without a reset.
- I would have liked more camera contol, because I found it to be more difficult to navigate/fly sometimes with the camera views supplied.
- The Lunar Module seemed a little fragile, I like the realism but it bruises easy so watch the landings.
- No demo, I think if more players could experience one mission that they would be enjoyed on how realistic the game is.
Overall I have had a fun time playing Lunar Flight and give it a score of 86, even in my frustrating moments where I was so close to the landing pad and run out of fuel (those are the most frustrating) I just jumped right back in and tried again. I tried to learn from these mistakes and tried harder to conserve fuel by utilizing the thrusters more efficiently and using the low gravity of the moon to my advantage. Shovsoft has done a great job on the whole landscape of the moon and making it feel lonely. There isn’t much I would change in Lunar Flight besides adding some more difficulty settings for the flight itself to help people that have difficulty grasping the no gravity flight laws. Do you need to be a hardcore space simulation fan to love Lunar Flight? No. I think it is a nice simulation that adds some nice features to old game concept from years ago. There has been a little talk in the SSC forums about possible sequels on other planets depending on how well Lunar Flight sells. This is the first game from indie developer Shovsoft and I hope more people find and play Lunar Flight because it definitely deserves a look. That is why I mentioned a demo as a ‘Con’, because I think if it had a demo there would be more people buying it. It’s tough to get a feel for this type of game through description or a video. So give Lunar Flight a try, I don’t think it will let you down and it should give you many hours of enjoyment.
So check out the video below and make sure you go and purchase Lunar Flight.
Here is a video of Lunar Flight in action: